MCLEAN, VA. — On Oct. 3, Mars, Incorporated and Digitalis Ventures launched a new $300 million venture capital fund to help support companies advancing pet health and wellness. Called the Companion Fund II, the venture will back founders whose companies are leveraging science and technology to support pets, their owners and veterinarians.

“Our goal is to support pet care founders accelerating the trajectory of startups, helping to fuel the growth of pet care businesses and to contribute to the future of the pet care industry,” said Loïc Moutault, global president of Mars Petcare. “We’re excited to support entrepreneurs and innovators in creating new products and services that deliver on our purpose: ‘A Better World for Pets.’”

Companion Fund II will provide capital to a variety of pet care businesses, including those developing veterinary diagnostics, veterinary medicine, information technologies, online platforms and more. The fund will be independently managed by Digitalis Ventures. It will focus on both early- and growth-stage startups mainly based in the United States and Europe.

The new venture builds upon Mars’ existing investments in the pet and pet food industries and represents the second Companion Fund for the company. Launched in 2018, Mars’ first $100 million Companion Fund has become one of the world’s largest leading investment funds for early-stage pet startups, according to the company. Since its inception, the fund has supported various pet industry companies, including pet food startups Smalls, Made by Nacho, Native Pet, THE PACK and others.

Companion Fund II will aim to support even more startups through their growth as part of Mars’ commitment to support innovation in the pet care industry.

“With our second Companion Fund, we are eager to support the next wave of great ideas for advancing animal health at scale,” said Geoffrey W. Smith, founder and managing partner of Digitalis Ventures. “Our partnership with Mars makes these advances possible.”

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